ATLANTA -- It seems to happen every year: on December 31, we're excitedly setting our New Year's resolutions, but by mid-February, those promises are out the window.
Why can't most of us stick to those resolutions?
Psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Vinson says many people quit in the first few weeks because they don't see results. The best method, she says, is to break the resolution down into manageable goals.
"Resolutions carry this weight of, either you do it or you don't. It's an all or nothing kind of thing," she said. "If it's a goal, it can be more incremental."
Dr. Vinson said people should do three things when making a resolution:
1. Set manageable goals. Instead of saying "I will lose 50 pounds this year," make a promise to work out twice weekly and have the goal of losing five pounds in a month.
2. Have an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Dr. Vinson recommends finding someone with similar goals and tackling them together.
3. Determine the factors that prevented success in the first place. Think about what got in the way of you accomplishing the goal in the past, and fix it. For instance, Dr. Vinson says, if you plan to work out every morning, but can't get up, try going to bed an hour earlier the night before.